If you have soft water, use less—about one and one-half tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent. For untreated hard water, use the full amount. Use only one pre-measured packet per load.
Water hardness affected powdered detergents, and, depending on the detergent type, 10-15% to > 30% extra detergent was needed to obtain a result similar to that of soft water.
When washing with hard water, good detergents include extra ingredients that soften the water so the rest can get to work removing the real stains. This is why you'll need to use more detergent to soften the water if you live in a hard water area.
Laundry detergent becomes more efficient with the use of a water softener. This means a little does a lot. It has something to do with the way the molecules interact & all that. The bottom line is — you only need a couple of tablespoons of detergent per load if you are hooked up to a water softener.
Detergent alone is usually more effective in soft water than in hard water. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD USE LESS DETERGENT THAN RECOMMENDED. It simply means that you may not need to add any extra beyond the amount generally recommended for diapers.
Best for Tough Stains and Hard Water
In fact, in our ratings, 12 Tide detergents (liquids and pods/packs) offer near top-level efficiency in hard water. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium that can leave residue on your clothes and mineral deposits inside your washing machine.
Hard water prevents water from mixing with detergent to form an effective cleaning agent. The calcium minerals bond with the soap to create a detergent curd that sticks to the fabric fibers, drawing in more dirt than before you washed your clothes.
Fabric softener is not a hard water treatment. You may still find your clothing dirty-looking, stiff and rough after washing. Fabric softener can combine with the chemicals in your water to contribute to the soap scum.
Detergents are generally ammonium or sulphonate salts of long chain carboxylic acids. They do not make scum in hard water as these chains do not react with metal ions to form insoluble precipitate. Hence statement is True.
2) Stiff, Itchy Fabrics
Stiff fabrics are another unfortunate side effect of hard water. The minerals in your hard water stay on your clothes as they dry, leaving them feeling rigid and scratchy.
Beyond the impact on clothes, using too much laundry detergent in your wash may also irritate skin. Detergent build-up can cause some people to develop contact dermatitis, which can lead to itching, rashes and other uncomfortable symptoms.
If you're using too much laundry detergent, your clothes will carry an odor and wear down the machine. The laundry detergent you use can affect your clothes in many ways. For instance, if too much is used it could stain or mark up the clothing which may have an effect on how they look and smell.
As staff writer Sarah Bodgan and senior staff writer Liam McCabe say in our guide to the best washing machines, 1 tablespoon is enough to thoroughly clean an average load, which usually weighs around 8 pounds. And if you're hand-washing, Sarah recommends that you use even less.
Per the usual 8 pound load of laundry, the amount of detergent needed to clean clothes is only one tablespoon. Double that for loads weighing in at 12 pounds or more. Reduce it for the days when you're hand washing.
Signs you're using too much laundry detergent
If you think you may be getting a little detergent-happy with your laundry, take a look at a just-washed load. If your wet clothes feel a little slimy, sticky, or soapy, you're probably sensing detergent residue. It's a telltale sign you're using too much product.
Vinegar makes a perfect fragrance-free fabric softener and works well for hard water. To use vinegar as a fabric softener and static reducer: Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your washing machine.
The hard water minerals will also prevent your detergent from mixing with the water to form a solution, which hampers the effectiveness of your detergent, preventing fabrics from getting completely clean – this will cause smelly clothes after washing.
Skip using fabric conditioner when washing cashmere, moisture-wicking activewear, and more. Caroline is a freelance writer for MarthaStewart.com.
Soft Water Has More Washing Power
When using hard water, you'd need to add more warm or hot water to get your laundry clean and make sure the detergent is gone. Soft water will let you clean your clothes using the only ½ the amount of the detergent, and you can use cold, warm, or hot water to get it super clean.
Hard water does not form lather with soap because a large amount of soap is used to neutralize the salts present in water, resulting in the formation of scum which sticks to clothes during washing making them dirtier.
In hard water conditions soaps form scum. Soap scum affects more than just cleanliness; it can deteriorate fabrics and eventually ruin clothing or other surfaces. Conversely, detergents can work in any level of water hardness since they react less to the many minerals in hard water.
Say goodbye to soap scum, hard water build-up, calcium, lime stains, grease and gunk. OxiClean™ Bathroom Cleaner does the hard work for you.
It's formulated to deliver a deep clean for all of life's messy moments. Persil laundry detergent is great for everyday laundry, even activewear, as it not only helps brighten and whiten your clothes, but also helps fight tough stains.
At home, pods may have a small advantage in some households where overdosing on liquid or powder detergent is a common problem. It may be cheaper in the long run to use pods that are already measured out to avoid overdosing on other types of detergent. Lightweight to carry or ship and require very small storage space.